Photographic Acquisitions 2009 to 2012

June 15 to September 30, 2012
Marshall Fine Arts Center
Atrium Gallery
Magill Library #40 on Campus Map

Summer Hours:
Weekdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fall Hours:(September 4 to September 30)
Weekdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Weekends: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Opening Reception
September 7, 2012, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Haverford College’s fine art photography collection consists of 5,000 prints and related materials that range from images made in the early years of the medium to contemporary works made by more than 450 photographers.

This exhibition of 42 photographs and related materials has been chosen from more than 200 recent acquisitions that have become part of a rich trove that encompasses all genres of photography, from travel and portraits to conceptual and post-modern work.

The realistic depiction of things, spaces and people began during the Renaissance, continued through the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution into the 18th Century. The rise of the middle class and its support of research in anatomy, botany and physiology spurred this trend. The first students accepted by Haverford College in 1833 were beneficiaries of these modernizing trends. The representation of the natural world through accurate drawing made its first appearance in the College’s curriculum in the same year that it opened when John Collins (1814-1902) was appointed to teach Drawing and Classics.

It is not surprising that the College began to acquire and collect photographs for educational purposes in 1870. By this time photography had established itself as the most efficient and accurate way to represent three-dimensional space. Haverford alumni have played a prominent role in the development of the medium from its earliest history starting with Charles Taber Prang a member of the class of 1839, which was the year the invention of photography was announced to the world in Paris and London by Jacques L. M. Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot.

Photographic Acquisitions 2009-2012 does not attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of the history of photography or the role that Haverford alumni have played in its development. The goal is instead to place on view a representative sample of photographs and related works that highlight the reach of the collection and reflect the history of the medium. The 19th Century images range from an 1855 half plate Daguerreotype of a gentleman attributed to Boston photographers Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes to a mammoth albumen print of the Yosemite Valley by Eadweard Muybridge. The 20th and 21st Century works include Dadaist, Christian Schad’s photogram to Carrie Mae Weem’s gelatin silver print from her “Kitchen Table Series” to digital color work by alumna, Sarah Kaufman class of 2003.

Exhibitions organized by William Williams, Audrey A. and John L. Dusseau Professor in the Humanities and curator of photography at Haverford College.